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Parole denied in Denair slaying

POSTED November 19, 2013 2:36 p.m.

A California Parole board has denied an early release request from a man convicted of stabbing a Denair man to death in 1991.

The parole board found Andrew Lopez, 49, unsuitable for parole after a Nov. 13 hearing at the state prison in Corcoran, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Lopez has been incarcerated since 1992 when a Stanislaus County jury found him guilty of second-degree murder in the death of James Turnbough of Denair.

On the night of Dec. 13, 1991, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a report of a disturbance along E. Zeering Road. When they arrived they found Turnbough with 13 stab wounds to the torso. He was rushed to a hospital, but died from his multiple injuries.

Lopez was arrested for the killing and tried and convicted. He was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison.

Lopez had been serving a prison sentence for selling heroin and had recently been paroled at the time of the murder. He was already wanted for a parole violation.

Lopez had a previous conviction as a juvenile for stabbing a man in Hayward in 1978.

The parole board heard testimony regarding the inmate’s prior criminal history, his lengthy prison record of conflicts with guards and staff as well as his failure to obey the rules. The board also heard comments from members of the victim’s family.

In announcing the decision to deny parole, the parole commissioner noted that the inmate posed an unreasonable threat to public safety based upon the following: Lopez’s most recent psychological evaluation placed him at a relatively high risk to reoffend if released into the community; he demonstrated little insight into the causes for his criminality; the murder in particular was carried out in a heinous and cruel manner; this was his second criminal offense involving a stabbing; he showed no true remorse for his crime; and he was unable to conform his conduct even while incarcerated in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.

This was Lopez’s second parole hearing. He was previously denied parole in 2009. He is eligible for parole again in 2016.

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